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Meta Provides New Insights Into the Benefits of General and Narrow Ad Targeting Approaches



This is a somewhat convenient study finding from Meta, given the more recent restrictions in audience data gathering as a result of Apple’s ATT update.

Today, Meta has published a new report which looks at the performance impacts of broad, demographic-based targeting for CPG ad campaigns, versus interest targeting strategies, which are more honed in on specific audience aspects, but are also inherently more restrictive as a result.

Which one performs better, then, comes down to how interest targeting is applied, and according to Meta, ‘overnarrowing’ your audience through interest targeting can significantly impede performance in campaigns.

Which, given that you now have fewer data options for such, seems like a good result for Meta’s ad options, right?

The actual analysis is a bit more nuanced than this – in order to assess the performance of broad versus narrow ad targeting, Meta analyzed 50 CPG campaigns in EMEA, measured via Facebook Brand Lift, which provides an assessment measure of relative ad performance.

As explained by Meta:

The analysis found that in approximately half of the campaigns, the selected interest audiences were too narrow and therefore significantly restricted reach compared to the demographic audience. In this case (when selected interest audiences were too narrow), demographic audiences delivered almost double the reach (+99%) over interest audiences for equal budget.”

So demographic targeting – not impacted by ATT – is better. That’s a thumbs up for Meta’s business interests.

In digging a little deeper, the results are actually fairly logical – when utilizing interest-based targeting, as opposed to broader reach through demographics, the results need to be significantly better in order to justify the more limited reach (i.e. you’re reaching fewer people, but if they spend more overall, then the reduced brand awareness benefits are offset by stronger direct response).

Meta’s data shows that this isn’t, in general, the case:

So while focusing on more specific audiences can deliver better results, on a person-by-person basis, broader reach actually delivered better outcomes the majority of the time, because reaching more people, via more generic targeting, broadened brand messaging, and helped reach even more interested users.

Of course, a lot of that comes down to how well you know your audience, and how well you actually utilize interest targeting. For those with very refined interest-targeting processes, they can actually drive significantly better campaign results through more specific focus.

As you can see in this chart, interest targeting does perform better for lower-funnel campaigns – so while reaching a broader audience is better for brand awareness, if you have a more specific goal in mind, and more audience insight, focusing on more detailed interest categories can improve direct response.

Which makes sense. In the early stages, you need to reach as many people as possible to maximize awareness, while more refined targeting, based on previous learning, will help drive better results in the next phase.

In essence, it’s a fairly logical outcome, but the point that Meta’s looking to highlight is that many businesses go too narrow in their ad targeting too early, when reaching more people is often better, as you can then maximize both brand awareness and reach.

Which, again, is a good result for Meta, based on data restrictions, and it could help to guide your ad targeting process, taking a more general view early on, then narrowing your campaign focus based on response.

You can read Meta’s full data report here.

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Free Annual Whitepaper on the 2021 Global Edtech Investment Available…



There was a Staggering Spike in Investments Across the Globe in 2021 According to a New Whitepaper by Metariverse (formerly Metaari)

(PRWeb January 14, 2022)

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YouTube Moves Away From Original Programming to Focus on Creator Funding Initiatives



YouTube has announced that it will shut down its YouTube Originals program, which at one stage was a key value add for its YouTube Premium service, and a focus in its broader effort to challenge rising video-on-demand rivals like Netflix and Disney+.

As announced by YouTube’s Chief Business Officer Robert Kyncl, YouTube has made the decision to wind down its original programming due to the departure of long-time Originals lead Susanne Daniels, who’s moving on after a raft of changes to her role. Daniels, an industry veteran who has previously worked for The WB, Lifetime and MTV, was initially brought in to lead YouTube’s Originals program in 2015, where she was tasked with developing original series’ for the app.

Daniels’ initial work saw the creation of series like ‘Cobra Kai’ and program partnerships with big-name stars like Ellen DeGeneres, Kevin Hart, Demi Lovato and Katy Perry. Those programs were initially made available to ‘YouTube Red’ subscribers only, who paid $9.99 to access this higher tier of YouTube content.

YouTube Red gained some early traction, but was split into YouTube Premium and YouTube Music in 2018 to provide more subscription options for users. Later in 2018, YouTube also made the strategic decision to make its Premium content available for free, instead of gated for paying subscribers, moving more into line with YouTube’s general ad-supported model for viewing, and tapping into the platform’s main strength in audience and reach.

But over time, YouTube has gradually moved away from original programming.

As explained by Variety, Daniels and her team shifted their focus to unscripted content in three different areas: music, celebrity and creator-focused originals, as well as educational programming. That eventually saw YouTube merging back into its regular content approach, and with over 2 million creators now taking part in the YouTube partner program, forming a much more significant revenue and retention model for the platform, the need for a dedicated originals division has been diminished to the point where YouTube feels that focusing elsewhere will be more beneficial.

As explained by Kyncl:

“Going forward, we will only be funding programs that are part of Black Voices and YouTube Kids funds. We will honor our commitment for already contracted shows in progress and creators who are involved in those shows should expect to hear from us in the coming days.”

Given its regular push to add more users to YouTube Premium, and the regular resistance from most, it makes sense for YouTube to instead focus on other areas, while building its offering for creators is also key in maximizing its audience reach and resonance by tapping into the latest trends and shifts.

Essentially, YouTube doesn’t need to create its own original content, and it’s fairly clear now that it couldn’t compete on this front anyway, given the amount of original properties and programs that Disney, Netflix and Amazon now control.

By re-focusing on creators, YouTube can maximize its appeal, in variance to its real rivals, in Meta and TikTok. And while YouTube would love to dominate all forms of digital media consumption, scripted dramas are clearly not what YouTube users are looking for from the app, at least not in the way that this has become an accepted behavior for other VOD providers.

Given the gradual wind down of its originals, the impact on YouTube will likely be minimal, though you can expect to see some ramp up in focus on creators as a result of the re-allocation of its resources.

Does that mean YouTube will stop pushing YouTube Premium? No, it does not.

Just recently, YouTube launched a new annual payment option for YouTube Premium with the lure of eradicating annoying ads from your YouTube experience. Which is really the only lure for Premium now – no exclusive content, but the ability to get rid of ads.

Which has always seemed like a slightly conflicted offering – “we know our ads are so annoying that some people will pay to shut them off”.

Still, platforms have to make money somehow.

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Twitter Finally Brings Communities to Its Android App



Almost five months after the initial launch of its Communities option, which enables users to share tweets with topic-aligned groups of users in the app, Twitter has today announced that Android users can also now engage in Communities, expanding access to these more dedicated discussion spaces.

Communities is essentially Twitter’s answer to Facebook groups or Reddit subreddits, moving away from the traditional ‘public square’ approach of tweeting and providing another way to form community around specific subjects in the app.

Though how successful Communities have been thus far is questionable. Most Communities, based on anecdotal evidence, are not highly active, with a part of the problem being that they’re largely obsolete, and restrictive, which goes against the established incentive devices of the app.

On the first point, given that most regular Twitter users have already curated a list of people they want to hear from in their feeds, Communities doesn’t really serve any significant purpose in keeping up to date with your key topics of interest.

It could, of course, enable you to find new tweet discussions to join, which could expand your tweeting activity, but with Communities currently being either ‘invite-only’ or ‘open to all’, that means that you either need to know somebody already in an interest area to gain access (and community discovery is not overly intuitive), while ‘open to all’ groups are generally filled with spam – which even the invited groups are as well, to a degree, due to flaws in the joining process (each new member can invite five of their own connections).

Twitter is working to address this, with a new ‘request to join’ option, where community admins will be able to approve or deny requests. That could help to improve the situation, but right now, the existing process is problematic in some respects.

On the second note, prolific tweeters already have far more followers on their personal handles than they can reach within a Community, so tweeting exclusively to Communities, only to see less engagement on their comments, isn’t an overly appealing prospect.

Sure, you could share your opinion direct to a community, and get no likes or replies, but why do that when you could share the same with your own, established audience who are more likely to respond. And because Twitter has already engrained Likes and replies as social currency on the platform, the incentive to tweet drives more users to the biggest response surface, which reduces the motivation to share to Communities.

As noted, Twitter is working on some of these elements, including discoverability, which could improve the Communities experience.

Maybe. No doubt some Twitter Communities are already highly active, but right now, as it stands, it doesn’t look like Communities is set to become a major element of tweet engagement, unless Twitter can refine the offering, and re-ignite interest.

Maybe Android access will change this – and ultimately, Twitter has the engagement data, it knows how active people are in Communities, and whether it’s worth pursuing further in future.

Will it go the way of Fleets, or can Communities become a bigger part of the tweet experience?

We’ll know more later in the year, now that all users can access the option.

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